The 4 Steps to Solutions-based Selling
First, I want to thank all of you who attended my talk at the PPAI Expo. For those of you who missed it, I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in. Now that you know the difference between options-based and solutions-based selling, and can see the benefits of solutions-based selling, I want to show you how to incorporate this information into your sales cycle.
The components of a solutions-based sales cycle are new client meeting, defining solutions, presenting solutions and follow up. Each component is necessary to the success of the campaign and builds on the work completed in the section before it.
1. New Client Meeting
There are many ways a client can enter your sales cycle--networking, referrals, etc. It doesn’t matter how they entered, but it is all about how well you create the experience. The only necessary materials in a New Client Meeting are a blank piece of paper, a pencil and an understanding of Socratic questioning, which we discussed in a previous section. Your job is to listen empathetically to your client's needs and help them to define objectives for their brand, event or campaign. At the end of this meeting you should be able to clearly define your client's brand, their target market and the specific objectives they are seeking to accomplish with your help. Once you have this information you are ready to move to the next step in the sales cycle.
2. Defining Solutions
With a clear understanding of your client’s brand, target market and objectives, you are now ready to reference catalogues and other sales resources. I like to work with my entire team in this stage as they all have unique and valuable insight on the solutions that best suit our clients' objectives. It is at this time in the process that we use the empowered methodology. When a product or event solution is suggested we take the time to make sure it accurately accomplishes each goal identified in the empowered methodology. We compile a presentation with the appropriate solutions, clearly highlighting how they accomplish the objectives of our clients. With our solutions in hand we arrange for a second meeting with our client.